Why does Norfolk need a new specialist care hospice?
“You matter because you are you and you matter until the last moment of your life. We will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully but to live until you die.”
– Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the UK hospice movement
The need for a new specialist care hospice
Norfolk has among the lowest number of deaths occurring in a hospice environment in the UK. A far higher proportion of deaths take place in care homes than the national average.
According to national commissioning guidance, the Norfolk and Waveney area falls short of the recommended numbers of specialist palliative care beds, doctors and nurses. In central Norfolk, we should have around 50 beds; we currently have 16.
Approximately 70% of the people who died in Norfolk and Waveney during 2015 needed some form of palliative care.
In Norfolk, we have an increasing population, people are living longer and developing more complex care needs. The demand for specialist end-of-life care is continuing to grow.
What about Priscilla Bacon Lodge?
Opened in 1979, Priscilla Bacon Lodge is a much-valued part of Norfolk’s healthcare landscape. Yet, with only 16 beds, the building, facilities and surrounding environment no longer meet the needs of our community.
The level of occupancy in the 16 beds at Priscilla Bacon Lodge is 92.6% – far higher than the national median of 78.5%. This means beds are full almost all the time, incurring a waiting list and the possibility that patients may not be admitted promptly.
There is an urgent need to update and improve Norfolk’s end-of-life care provision. The new Priscilla Bacon Hospice will provide more people in Norfolk with the quality end-of-life care they desperately need. It will be the most modern facility in the region, with a greater number of beds and a wider range of community day care and out-patient services.